U.N. rights chief wants to refer crimes against Rohingya to International Criminal Court

Geneva: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has called for allegations of atrocities committed against the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution. He also urged Myanmar’s government to allow investigation on the suspected “genocide” against the minority.

“What we’re saying is…there are strong suspicions, yes, that acts of genocide may well have taken place. But only a court, having heard all the arguments, will confirm this,” Hussein told a news conference. “It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a court would make that finding in the future,” he said.

Myanmar had not allowed the U.N. investigator on human rights, Yanghee Lee, to visit their country to investigate. “The government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable,” Lee said in an interview.

About 700,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine state since August last year entering into the bordering towns of Bangladesh. Many have narrated harrowing testimonies of executions and rapes of civilians by Myanmar security forces.

Myanmar wants the clear evidence that supports accusations of ethnic cleansing, National Security Adviser Thaung Tun said on Thursday.